Last printed Dandy on 75th birthday

The final printed issue of the UK's longest-running children's comic will be released on its 75th birthday in December, its publishers have said.

The Dandy, best known for cartoon character Desperate Dan, is being pulled from shelves following a drop in circulation in recent years.

Dundee-based publisher DC Thomson said the comic will still be available online and it has "exciting plans in the pipeline" to take it in a "different direction".

Ellis Watson, chief executive of the company's newspaper and magazine publishing operations, said: "Dan has certainly not eaten his last cow pie. All of The Dandy's characters are just 110 days away from a new lease of life."

The decision comes after DC Thomson announced it was carrying out a review of all of its magazine titles due to "challenges" being faced by the publishing industry. It was prompted by falling circulation numbers, with only about 8,000 copies of The Dandy being sold a week, down from more than two million during its peak in the 1950s.

The Dandy, which launched in 1937, has featured characters such as Bananaman, Korky the Cat, Cuddles and Dimples, and Beryl the Peril.

The last edition of the comic will be released at the beginning of December to mark its official 75th anniversary and will include a reprint of the first edition of The Dandy.

Mr Watson said: "On December 4, we'll publish our 75th anniversary edition - and now that the cat's out of the bag - I can confirm that this will be our last print edition. It's what comes online then that will set the tone for the next 75 years and that's why I'm so livid these plans nearly leaked.

"I'm absolutely livid that we've had an internal leak about what's in the pipeline for one of our most popular titles. We're counting down 110 days until the big 75th anniversary bash and we're working on some tremendously exciting things.

"I've closed down loopholes to ensure much tighter internal security. We've heard about people trying to find out the plans by hacking into www.dandy.com so we've taken it all offline and moved into core project offices. We're in lockdown."